Guys, it’s OK. I’m alive. I had a wonderful trip home, and a successful move to a new apartment. (I’m living with Astro now! Yay!) But we had no internet access for this whole week, which was only a little unfortunate. Not that I had much time to write anyway — moving is hard work! But I’m looking at the move as a chance to reset. I’m going to beef up my posting schedule by making sure I write every day. Write, not post, mind you. But hopefully that will help avoid these long dry spells. But moving on to the more important topic of the day: MAGIC.
Last Friday was tough. I had practices a little bit with online full set drafts, but I still felt unprepared going in. I ended up with a strong Naya deck, but had mana problems. I was playing just a little too much white to only splash and only drafted two gates. My first pick was Tajic, which was good. I second picked a my Zhur-Taa Druid, picked up my Boros and Gruul guildgates and a Weapon Surge, but I didn’t use much else from my first pack.
The Gatecrash portion of my draft was great. I passed Five Alarm Fire, choosing an Experiment One over it. I then got passed two more Experiment Ones, which was great. I also picked up some strong bloodrush (Zhur-Taa Swine, Viashino Shanktail) and a couple combat tricks (two Martial Glories). I didn’t really know what my deck was going to do at this point, though. I’d picked up a Blaze Commando in the first pack, but I didn’t have anything to trigger its ability.
I got lucky in my RTR pack and opened a Wild Beastmaster, which basically solidified my strategy. It made all my combat tricks even more valuable, and made some really awesome combos possible. The other cards I picked up during RTR were mostly creatures and enchantments to beef up my beastmaster. I did pick up two Goblin Rallies, though, which have done some work for me. My deck turned out to be really fun to play, so even through I had mana troubles throughout the night, I still had a blast.
I ended up going 1-4, which is my worst record in a while, but I’m still figuring out how to draft this format, so I’m not being too hard on myself. Plus, my deck has been a beating in almost all the matches I’ve played for fun — even in between rounds last Friday. I beat the guy who ended in second place when we played for fun, and my deck has beaten another top 8 deck repeatedly this week. I’m not going to say that I did poorly because of bad luck, because mana problems are only partly bad luck. The other part is just the fact I drafted an awkward three color deck without enough fixing.
But seriously — when I got my beastmaster to go off, it was awesome. Once, I put both counters from Common Bond on it when I had a fairly large board presence, and then also played Weapon Surge overloaded the same attack. It was awesome. Another time I bloodrushed it with my Zhur-Taa Swine, which was amazing. It was just a lot of fun, so I’m happy with my draft even though I didn’t end up with a good record.
Going into tonight, I’m a little more prepared. I’ve read a couple different articles about how to draft the set, and I’m hoping it will help. I’ve also thought a lot about my attitude playing over the past week as well. I seem to do a bit better when I’m playing ‘just for fun’, so I’m going to keep that in mind tonight. Sure, it’s a tournament setting, but I’m there to hang out with my friends and play a game I love. That’s what it’s really all about, after all.
Wish me luck!